Already police have confirmed that ฿4 billion in assets have been frozen as a result of the investigation which was sparked by a huge drugs raid in the Sathorn area of Bangkok in the early hours of October 26th last. This week, Mr Chuvit Kamolvisit also explained the mystery of the Chinese businessman with a high-powered office and car styled as an embassy vehicle with a bogus police entourage and his links to the network.
Former Bangkok politician and popular underground figure Chuvit Kamolvisit has revealed that the Chinese ‘grey money’ criminal network was involved in the operation of Thai language schools with which to facilitate newly arrived Chinese nationals in Thailand with visas or to provide visa extensions to those already living in the kingdom. Mr Chuvit promised more revelations into external links between the gang and drug trafficking activities outside Thailand at the highest level. At the same time, police raided dozens more properties to execute search warrants while the number of people for whom arrest warrants have been issued has risen to over 102 with Police General Surachate Hakparn signalling that the case was 90% complete although it is understood that the work of the Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO) will take some time to understand the complex network of Thai registered firms controlled or linked to Mr Chaiyanat Kornchayanant or Mr Du Hao, the key player, at this stage, in this unfolding story.
Former Thai underground figure and politician Chuvit Kamolvisit, on Thursday, had more revelations linked to the widespread activity of a wealthy Chinese network linked with drug distribution networks who were actively seeking Chinese nationals with money to come and live in Thailand.
The latest disclosure from Mr Chuvit is that the network led by Mr Du Hao or Mr Chaiyanat Kornchayanant had been linked to Chinese investors involved in the purchase and control of Thai language schools with which to offer Chinese immigrants to Thailand, valid visas to stay and live in the kingdom.
Schools offered certification for Chinese nationals linked with the criminal network seeking visas, a new revelation this week from Mr Chuvit Kamolvisit
The schools offered certification to the Chinese immigrants seeking visa and visa extensions from the Immigration Bureau.
Mr Chuvit, who gave his press conference at the Davis Hotel on Soi Sukhumvit, also highlighted the purchase of land in 2020 to the value of ฿400 million by one of several women who are thought to have regularly acted as nominees for the Chinese kingpin, Mr Chaiyanat Kornchayanant who was jailed for 12 days last week by the Bangkok South Municipal Court after his arrest by a police task force on drug distribution charges.
Mr Chuvit showed evidence of money transfers of ฿3 million to ฿5 million between the Chinese kingpin and Thai women, one of whom has partially been named by officials working on the case as Ms Patcharin.
Mr Chuvit also shared photographs of a large mansion in a valley located, according to him, somewhere in Thailand which he said was linked with this story and the massive transfer of capital into Thailand by what he termed foreign agencies with links to the drug trade.
Police and drug control agency act to seize the assets of Chinese drug kingpin ‘Du Hao’ and his police officer wife
The ongoing raids and asset seizures were sparked by a huge raid conducted by the Metropolitan Police Bureau in the early hours of October 26th last which police last week confirmed as linked to Mr Du Hao or Mr Chaiyanat Kornchayanant who has also been confirmed as making a political donation of ฿3 million to the ruling Palang Pracharat Party, something currently being investigated by the Election Commission.
Chinese man who held himself out as a diplomat part of the network’s PR front to attract more Chinese associates to come to live and invest in Thailand
Mr Chuvit also offered an explanation for another character in the story, a Chinese national arrested in November by a police unit led by Police General Roy Ingkhapairote with high-powered offices at a reputable Thai mercantile trade organisation in the heart of Bangkok at Vibhavadi Rangsit Road, in the Phaya Thai District of the capital.
Chinese businessman in the heart of Bangkok with a fake Chinese Embassy car and police escort arrested
This man was chauffeured around Bangkok in a limousine flying both the Chinese and Thai flags taking on the appearance of a Chinese embassy car while accompanied by a bogus silver and brown Thai police car.
The man’s plush offices at the trade centre included a decorated Thai army uniform in red which Mr Chuvit on Thursday revealed the Chinese man wore while meeting potential Chinese investors and businessmen who wished to settle in Thailand to demonstrate the influence the gang claimed to wield in the kingdom.
Serious security threat to the kingdom removed by smashing this huge criminal network says Mr Chuvit
On Thursday, Mr Chuvit warned that the activities of this gang posed a grave and mounting threat to the security of the country and that it was fortunate that the network was exposed and is now being suppressed.
Mr Chuvit also drew particular attention to the seizure of the plane now known to have been owned and controlled by Mr Du Hao or Mr Chaiyanat Kornchayanant through a company despite initial doubts raised by the Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) which is involved in the process of seizing asset linked to the kingpin.
He seemed to suggest that the plane should be looked at further rather than simply being seen as another asset.
Mr Chuvit, on Thursday, suggested that further revelations in this story can be expected and afterwards burned salt in a ceremony to assist his efforts in exposing those involved in the complex criminal enterprise that over the last week investigators have shown extends into dozens of well-capitalised companies with associated properties and which appeared, at face value, to be involved in legitimate business activities.
Discussions between police and crime suppression agencies on how to proceed against this network
Police General Surachate revealed that discussions are taking place between the police involved in the investigation linked with the raid on the nightclub venue in the Sathorn area of Bangkok and officials of the Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) which also involve public prosecutors and the Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO) on how best, at this point, to advance the investigation.
He indicated that the extended nature of this probe means that the focus was increasingly on tracking capital linked with Mr Du Hao and looking into suspected money laundering offences.
One of the three close associates who acted with Mr Chaiyanat or Du Hao in the operation of the companies set up by the gang is a senior female police officer.
It has also been reported that Mr Chaiyanat’s wife is serving as a police colonel working in the foreign affairs department of the Royal Thai Police.
102 arrest warrants have been issued. Case is 90% complete says Big Joke or General Surachate Hakparn
On Friday, Police General Surachate Hakparn, also known as Big joke, who is leading a task force investigating the expansive criminal network, suggested that there were three different types of individuals linked with the case who are facing charges.
He said that so far 102 arrest warrants had been issued.
Some have been arrested and are being prosecuted for drug dealing and conspiracy to distribute illicit narcotics while others are being charged with facilitating the Chinese gang by acting as nominees and a legitimate front for the gang’s activities.
The third group are individuals who held assets for the gang in their name and let the network avail of their national identification details.
However, General Surcahate said the second group, there were a number of close confidantes of Mr Chaiyanat Kornchayanant in the operation of his sprawling empire.
This group acted as directors and shareholders in a complex network of business deals all facilitated by a Chinese law firm in Thailand.
High-end, exclusive and expensive property schemes in Bangkok bought up entirely by the Chinese gang
On Thursday, Mr Chuvit revealed that some high-end building developments in the Bangkok Metropolitan area, with homes valued at ฿50 million to ฿60 million each, were all owned by the extended network with the properties held by Chinese investors who were fronted by Thai nominees either in companies or named as the owner of the properties.
General Surachate told reporters on Friday that investigators were intrigued that the alleged drug kingpin only appeared to maintain ฿100,000 in several personal bank accounts.
Arrest and detention of alleged Chinese crime boss puts political pressure on Palang Pracharat Party
In relation to the seized Cessna Executive jet in Prachuap Khiri Khan, General Surachate said the plane was still being examined by forensics. It was being searched for drugs and fingerprints.
The top policeman also told reporters that sniffer dogs had reacted positively when brought near the plane.
Police still examining the executive jet in Prachuap Khiri Khan as Mr Chuvit suggests that the plane is more than just an asset, he linked it to drugs
General Surachate also revealed that police had spoken at length to the pilot of the plane who was cooperative and named all those that had flown on the craft.
However, he could not confirm nor deny whether drugs had been used on flights
Nevertheless, the Deputy National Police Commissioner General Surachate assured the public that police would examine and pursue the financial trail and other activities of the gang including information gleaned on Tuesday and Wednesday when dozens of properties were raided by police units across Thailand.
Among the venues was a gemstone retail firm in Phuket on a luxury property with a display of leather and plastics snakes and other reptiles within an ornate and luxury building on a 10 rai site while another functioned as a spa facility for tourists
The case before investigators including the volume of assets seized and the financial accounting between a network of companies makes it incredibly complex for police and authorities.
Complex case saw 34 more properties across Thailand raided by police and military officers in the last week with ฿4 billion in assets now already frozen
It is one that, according to General Surachate, authorities will pursue diligently but methodically.
The top police officer, again this week, underlined that the police and officials were dealing with an extremely well-funded organisation that may use the law to frustrate efforts to dismantle what appears to be a vast criminal network funding asset purchases and some business enterprises with a legitimate front.
In all, police this week raided 34 different locations while progressing their enquiries further.
These included 12 in Bangkok, 8 in Phuket, 6 in Samut Prakan, 4 in Chonburi and one each in Prachuap Khiri Khan, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Pathum Thani and Ayutthaya.
He said that, at this stage of the investigative process, police planned to summon the three key individuals associated with Mr Du Hao’s extensive business empire which investigators suspect may be linked to criminal activity or funded by illicit money.
He also revealed that police have called in the Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO) and are in regular contact with the Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) given the evolving nature of the case.
The top police officer believes the three people linked with these firms and Mr Chaiyanat Kornchayanant are the key to shining a light on the financial trail linked with the empire.
Three key individuals close to Mr Du Hao including a serving police officer among two women.
‘Mr Tony’, another alleged gang boss, arrested in the Huai Khwang area of Bangkok this week on foot of an arrest warrant along with a Thai national
In this week’s raids, a key player in the Chinese network known as ‘Mr Tony’ was apprehended when police raided several properties in the Huai Khwang district of Bangkok.
The Chinese man was detained at a luxury condominium complex on Rama 9 road in the city.
His arrest is thought to be linked to a raid on the premises of a firm called Space Plus Club Management (Thailand) Co. Ltd where a Thai national serving as an executive of the firm Mr Natson Hutasewi was also arrested.
The business in question received ฿100 million of investment from Chinese-linked concerns which is also thought to be linked to illicit capital or what the Thai media has termed ‘grey money’.
Both Mr Chuvit and Police General Surachate have referred to ‘Mr Tony’ as a key player in what are thought to be five distinct Chinese triad gangs who were until recently operating and expanding in Bangkok.
Other names besides Mr Du Hao or Chaiyanat Kornchayanant include Shui Tai Wei alias Mr David and Yu Chang Fei.
Police General Torsak Sukwimol of the Technology Crime Suppression Division (TCSD) who has been assisting General Surachate since the start of this crackdown also raided 11 locations in Bangkok and Samut Prakan on Tuesday.
General Torsak Sukwimol led a task force which raided expensive residential properties near Bangkok with owners asked to tender ownership documents
These raids focused on housing assets and other properties believed to have been purchased by Chinese nationals linked with the criminal network using Thai national identification details or companies.
One of these was a luxury mansion in the Lasalle area of Samut Prakan.
Police raiding the properties required all those claiming to be owners of the assets in question to come forward with the documents for verification while in the meantime the assets were to be frozen.
One luxury property in Phuket sold high-quality rubber snakes as well as jewellery on a huge 10 rai site worth an estimated one hundred million baht.
Police revealed that up to ฿4 billion in assets have been seized at the beginning of this week but it is thought that this figure could yet climb to ฿6 billion.
Police are still trying to determine if there is also a cash horde to be found.
Many of those involved in the Chinese criminal network have already fled Thailand for both Cambodia and Laos where police are on alert says Big Joke
Deputy National Police Commissioner Surachate Hakparn also admitted that he believed that many of those involved in the network, at the onset of police raids, had fled the country and that police agencies in Thailand had reached out to their counterparts in Laos and Cambodia to assist in tracking them down.
He revealed that Mr Tony, the Chinese kingpin arrested in Huai Khwang possessed a business visa to live and work in Thailand.
The basis of this visa will now be investigated and the police chief also known as ‘Big Joke’, warned that anyone found colluding or assisting these actors including Thai nationals will face the full brunt of the law.
He indicated that he was anxious to wrap up the investigation as far as investigating police can take the matter at this point and to that end, he said that the case was now 90% completed.
No behind the scenes players or cover-ups. Police are following the evidence and money trail wherever it leads. No politics involved says top officer
Asked frankly by reporters if the group had any political influence or friends in high places, he replied that there was no political involvement and that police were determined to get to the bottom of the affair with no stone left unturned.
However, he again repeated his concern that the group appears to have access to enormous financial firepower and may use high-powered and expensive lawyers to protect their interests.
He assured the public that the was no cover-up or behind-the-scenes actors in this story.
He particularly emphasised that he has never let political considerations interfere with his work and that both himself and his officers would not stop pursuing the evidence including issuing subpoenas and arrest warrants wherever appropriate which is what we have seen so far.
Raids on 8 business concerns or Thai registered firms linked with Mr Du Hao in Phuket involving police and up to 100 military officers shed further light
On Wednesday, up to 100 military officers were involved in raids in Phuket linked to Mr Chaiyanat Kornchayanant’s expansive empire with warrants issued the day before to search properties.
The eight properties and business enterprises give some insight into the labyrinth of companies and dealings involved in this affair.
The first property was the office of Ever Union Company Limited a company with a share capital of ฿20 million and registered in 2013 in the centre of Phuket where the main shareholder was Mr Chaiyanat Kornchayanant followed by Mrs Nudiporn Petchpanomporn who held 75,000 shares, Ms Suchida Masmiss with 25,000 shares and Mrs Wattanaree Kornchayanant who held 20,000 shares.
The second property was the City Centre Company Limited with a registered capital of 5 million shares was set up in May 2019 in the Wichit subdistrict of Phuket.
Mr Chaiyanat Kornchayanant held 30,000 shares while Mr Sitthiphaiboon Kamnil and Ms Suchida Masmiss held 10,000 shares each.
Firms selling birds nests while retailing clothes, gems, souvenirs, latex and plastic snake creations for display, all investments made by Mr Du Hao
The third location raided was the King Birds Nest Phuket Co., Ltd. which was registered in the centre of Phuket in September 2011 with a registered capital of ฿11 million.
The firm sells bird’s nests and associated products.
Mr Chaiyanat Kornchayanant held 60,000 shares with 30,000 shares held by Mrs Watanaree Kornchayanant and 10,000 shares allotted to Mr Sithiphaiboon Kamnil.
The fourth firm was founded on the 30th of July 2014 with a share capital of ฿30 million and was in the business of retailing souvenirs, clothing and body jewellery linked with leather.
It was also located in the centre of Phuket.
The firm was called Queen Legend Company Limited and Mr Chaiyanat Kornchayanant held 15,400 shares with Mrs Watanaree Kornchayanant holding 8,500 shares and Mr Sithiphaiboon Kamnil holding 6,100 shares.
Another firm in the centre of Phuket with a registered share capital of ฿30 million was Modern Latex Company Limited registered in March 2012 which had issued 180,000 shares to Mr Chaiyanat Kornchayanant with 60,000 to Mrs Wattanaree Kornchayanant and a similar amount to Mr Sithiphaiboon Kamnil.
Firm selling gems and lifelike snake creations located within a magnificent building complex on 10 rai of land in central Phuket. Valued at ฿100 million
The sixth firm listed was the owner of the 10 rai site in the Wichit subdistrict of Phuket with extensive buildings showcasing the sale of gems and plasticised snakes which were elaborately displayed in glass showcases.
The site and buildings were estimated by police to be worth ฿100 million yet the company, formed in December 2011, Modern Gems Phuket Company Limited had a registered capital of ฿50 million.
It was again situated in the centre of Phuket and has issued or paid-up share capital of 300,000 shares to Mr Chaiyanat Kornchayanant, 150,000 shares to Mr Sitthiphaiboon Kamnil and 50,000 shares to Mrs Watanaree Kornchayanant.
The seventh firm, again in Phuket, was a business retailing herbal medicines and was set up in 2012 with a registered share capital of ฿20 million.
120,000 shares were held by Mr Chaiyanat Kornchayanant with 40,000 held by Mrs Watanaree Kornchayanant and 40,000 shares held by Mr Sithiphaiboon Kamnil.
The eighth firm located in Phuket was established in August 2012 with a registered capital of ฿2 million and was involved in wired and wireless internet services.
The main shareholder was Mr Chaiyanat Kornchayanant with 16,000 shares and Mr Zhao Zhe Zhao Zhe with 3,900 shares. A Mr Pisanu Pholcharoen held 100 shares.
Case will increasingly be a matter from the Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO) as officials and police work to dismantle the huge criminal syndicate
Police emphasised the search operations conducted last week were to ascertain the extent, if any, of illegal activity or the commission of an offence under the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 1999.
Senior police officers such as the National Police Commissioner General Damrongsak Kittiprapat, General Surachate Hakparn and General Torsak Sukwimol were equivocal last week as to the details of which assets linked with the raids have been seized.
It is understood that this will be a product of the ongoing investigation and forensic accounting examination of the dealings of Mr Du Hao or Chaiyanat Kornchayanant.